Coroner warns against leaving children inside hot cars

Updated: Aug. 12, 2019 at 4:20 PM EDT
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - A heat advisory in Southwest Georgia Monday led Dougherty County Coroner Michael Fowler to put out a warning in hopes of keeping parents from becoming the next to mourn the loss of a child because of a hot car.

"I have grandkids, and I just couldn't imagine how would a parent feel," Fowler said about recent cases like this across the country. "I would hate to have to walk up to a house from that, that a child was left in the car. That's something that could have been prevented if somebody just took a little time."

Officials and doctors say temperatures can rise rapidly inside a car left in the sun.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the San Francisco State University Department of Geosciences reported that the inside of a car can reach nearly 110 degrees in 20 minutes, when it’s 80 degrees outside.

The National Safety Council said that parents should stick to a routine and avoid distractions to prevent accidentally leaving their child locked inside a hot car.

"I got to make up my mind, every time I get out of the car, I got to check the backseat," Fowler explained.

Here's a way you can remind yourself to do that.

Before you leave for work, put a toy or blanket of your child's on top of your briefcase, lunch, or purse - whatever you will bring inside your work - in your car.

That way when you get to work, if the item of your child's is still there, you'll remember to double check that you're not forgetting your child in the backseat.

Another way to prevent a situation like this is to always leave your vehicle's doors locked while you're at home.

Fowler explained that kids playing outside may crawl into a car thinking it will cool them off, and they could accidentally get locked in.

Leaving the doors locked will keep them from getting inside.

Fowler also warned caregivers including school and daycare bus drivers to double and triple check as well.

“Even though you may not see a child’s head in the mirror from looking from the front of the bus back, walk the bus aisle,” he said. “There could have been a child that laid down in the seat and went to sleep.”

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